History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

North Queensferry, Pierhead, Signal House, Including Entrance Gates and Boundary Wall

A Category B Listed Building in Inverkeithing, Fife

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 56.008 / 56°0'28"N

Longitude: -3.3952 / 3°23'42"W

OS Eastings: 313101

OS Northings: 680331

OS Grid: NT131803

Mapcode National: GBR 20.TK60

Mapcode Global: WH6S9.T8F0

Entry Name: North Queensferry, Pierhead, Signal House, Including Entrance Gates and Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 19 December 1979

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 342395

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB9999

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Inverkeithing

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay

Parish: Inverkeithing

Traditional County: Fife

Find accommodation in
North Queensferry


1810. 2-storey octagonal-plan tower signal house (now residential) with projecting 3-stage stair tower to SW; substantial later 19th century 2-storey rendered and slated rectangular-plan addition encapsulating half of tower house to N; small, flat-roofed, single storey mid-20th century extension to SW. Droved and coursed ashlar; moulded string course above windows to ground floor and to 1st and 2nd stage of stair tower; coped and crenellated parapet; diagonal buttresses (3 buttresses transposed to N elevation of later addition).

Pointed segmental 4-pane timber windows to signal house, modern replacements to ground floor, astragals formerly of double lancet design. Larger openings to 1st floor; arrow slit windows to stair tower, blind at 2nd stage facing S and 3rd stage facing W. Plate glass sash and case windows to addition, timber ground floor, replacement to 1st floor. Flat lead roof capping tower, formerly spired.

INTERIOR: exposed masonry of signal house; pointed segmental arch opening (former blind window) into sitting room, flanked by 2 blind and painted pointed segmental windows. Pointed arched opening to stair tower (former door access); stone spiral staircase. Pointed arched panelled timber door with tracery glazing pattern to 1st floor press (former meeting room).

ENTRANCE GATES AND BOUNDARY WALL: coped random rubble to E, set above Town Pier (see separate listing). Double swing cast-iron gates with fleche finials; stone steps leading up to E entrance of dwelling.

Statement of Interest

A-group with Lantern Tower, Town Pier and East and West Battery Piers (see separate listings). This building forms an historic association with the Ferry Passage between North and South Queensferry and is linked to the contemporary construction of the Lantern Tower, Town Pier, East Battery Pier and West Battery Pier, which were designed by engineer, John Rennie. In 1809, the Forth Ferry Trustee Company was established and subsequently an Act of Parliament was passed in 1810 by which the former proprietors of the Ferry Passage were compelled to sell their rights to the Government at the price of #10,000. Facilities related to the landing at North Queensferry were in much need of upgrading and John Rennie was commissioned to provide improvements to the existing slip landings and piers at North and South Queensferry at a final cost of #33,825 pounds Sterling, which included a light-house and signal house. The Signal House cost #406-9-1 pounds Sterling and contained a room for the boat crews in waiting on the ground floor, and a room for the accommodation of the superintendent and for conducting business connected with the ferry passage on the first floor. The Signal House was also used for the purpose of a light-house. The first ferry superintendent was Capt John Scott (1767-1850) of Seabank Cottage (see separate listing), who was appointed in 1810 and retired 1838. Discarded stone from crenellated parapet is now used in garden as part of the flowerbed. Old photographs indicate that the tower once had a spired roof, as confirmed by Graham in his 1969 article. The spired roof was removed sometime after 1969 and prior to 1988.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.